Sacramento area residents aren't blessed with a huge number of riding options that don't require serious drive-time. What's missing in quantity, however, is made up for by some of the sweetest riding in the state for beginners and intermediate riders.
The jewel of the region is the Salmon Falls (aka Darrington) Trail, which traces the shoreline of the South Fork of the American River as it opens up into Folsom Lake. An eight-mile strip of beautiful single-track, Salmon Falls manages to be suitable for riders of all levels. Beginners will need to walk in a few spots, but they'll be treated to a stellar introduction to the sport.
Just to the north of Salmon Falls is the Olmstead-Cool Loop, a fire road ride that passes through some beautiful oak-studded grasslands. Though not technically challenging, Olmstead-Cool is an excellent workout ride for experienced bikers as well as a great ride for beginners. Please note that this loop is heavily used by equestrians. Ride with caution and courtesy to avoid startling the horses.
|Salmon Falls Area Summary
Location: Between El Dorado Hills and Auburn
Best For: Beginners/Intermediates
Suitable For: All levels
Ground Cover: Oak and evergreen forests, grasslands
Seasons: Year round, though extremely hot in summer